The man in charge of Apple Music’s original content said he’s trying to make the streaming service akin to “MTV in its Eighties and Nineties heyday,” Rolling Stone reports. Larry Jackson got his big break producing Lana Del Rey for Jimmy Iovine at Interscope Records, and he saw that focusing hard on the Internet rather than radio promotion was the recipe for success in the modern era. By pouring money into videos that then went viral, Del Rey’s ‘Born to Die’ debuted at number two on the Billboard charts without any singles in radio rotation.
Apple has capitalized on that video promotion formula, leveraging big name-stars like Dr. Dre, Drake and Taylor Swift by producing videos and concert documentaries that fans can’t see anywhere else. Swift said she and Jackson “brainstormed together, made plans together, edited together” for her ‘The 1989 World Tour’ film. That spilled over into an idea for an ad featuring Swift rapping to the Drake-Future hit “Jumpman” that ended up increasing sales of “Jumpman” by more than 400 percent. While Jackson has seen some big ones get away — notably Kanye West’s ‘The Life of Pablo’ — Apple Music has quickly created a name for itself that’s drawing in top talent. “Apple is sexy,” said Monte Lipman, head of Republic Records, home to stars like the Weeknd and Ariana Grande. “They are prepared to do things no one has done before. Lately they’ve been very clever in coming to us with what we consider groundbreaking opportunities.”